Fightville follows the lives of two fighters, their trainer, and their manager/promoter as they train, compete, and ultimately reach for the brass ring in the world of MMA fighting. The two fighters the feature focuses on are Dustin Poirier and Albert Stainback along with their manager Gil Guillory. From interviews with family and friends we get back story on the fighters and then we get to see the fighters training hard and entering the ring. Only one of them will find success by the time the documentary film ends and the other will find themselves.
I have to say that I only half loved this documentary. The first half of the film felt like a long line of promotional malarkey touting the sport as a “warriors sport” and often times stumbling through explanations on how this is the safest sport around (holding it in contrast with a sport like bull riding). Gil Guillory does most of the talking through most of the first half and I have to come back to a spot in the documentary where we find Gil putting up a very large chunk of change to promote a fight. Gil explains that the amount of money that he has put up is the equivalent to his house and his livelihood, so yes, he’ll say and do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone who will listen will walk away knowing and loving and anticipating the event. That’s pretty much what the first half sounds like, Gil and his wife trying to sell the sport to you as a viewer. I didn’t much care for it and thought it was a bit plastic.
The other half of the film shows the fighters training, talking about their motivations and their personal lives, as well as fighting. We hear information from family interviews that the fighters grew up with a love for violence and that with discipline and the right motivation they were able to turn that aggression into a profitable passion. At first I felt like the family comments were doing more harm then good but all you have to do is watch the fighters training day in and day out, explaining that they hold down jobs for the insurance benefits and spend most of their time training to become better then the next guy. You watch them putting their all into accomplishing a dream and in contrast with violent childhood stories you see just how far they’ve come.
I’m not a big fan of the massive MMA craze. All I used to see were guys beating each other to a pulp. Bloodied, swollen, and probably in need of serious medical help afterwards. I’m still not a fan of the sport but I understand it on a more individual basis then with all the lights and crowds and companies trying to hock their goods to a frenzied crowd. It was definitely an experience.
PICTURE AND AUDIO QUALITY:
I thought this looked ten times better then most documentary films I’ve seen. Soft spots? Of course, but when the fighters are at their best training or getting into the ring the camera comes alive. The red velvet curtains are vibrant, the black levels right before the picture becomes awash with lights from all over are deep and rich. Your not going to have an issue with color when it counts. Definition has its hiccups with the varying levels of camera quality used to shoot some scenes. At home interviews look camcorder quality, some exterior scenes look grainy and mottled by the natural light and shadows, but where it counts, again, it’s all spot on. Audio remains solid throughout giving you crisp dialogue and the clarity to catch every connecting blow.
~Deleted/Extended Scenes: The sound quality here is strange and unusual but you get a bit more footage to mull over.
~Behind The Scenes